Chien de garde will represent Canada in the category of Best Foreign Language Film for the 2019 Academy Awards. The Sophie Dupuis film is set in Montreal's working-class Verdun neighbourhood involving a young man in a family-run drug cartel. The film feature 2017 TIFF Rising Star Théodore Pellerin, who you might have seen in Never Steady, Never Still and the Xavier Dolan film Juste la fin du monde.
The title translates to watchdog, but the English title is Family First.
One obvious choice was yet another Denys Arcand film The Fall of the American Empire. Days of Darkness was the last Arcand film selected in the category. That film made the shortlist but not the Top 5 Oscars cut. Arcand is the only Canadian director to win the best foreign language film Oscar for The Barbarian Invasions.
Dupuis is the first female director since Louise Archambault (Gabrielle) to be nominated by Canada for this Oscars category. While Dupuis has directed 5 short films, this is her full-length feature debut.
Chien de garde has already played in Quebec and is on demand in the rest of Canada. The film won 3 Prix Inis awards for Quebec film. Maude Guérin won for Best Actress, Revelation of the Year went to Théodore Pellerin, and Dominique Fortin took home Best Editing.
I had a 12-year streak of seeing the Canadian entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Seeing Hochelaga, Land of Souls would extend that streak. Really don't want a 2-year losing streak.
Based from the trailer, the film looks excessively violent. Please don't hold your breath for imagining this film will likely make the Oscars shortlist based on the violence.
Countries shouldn't nominate films only in the hope of winning, but also should consider films that might have some hope for Oscars success.
The 2019 Academy Awards will be held February 24.
video credit: YouTube/Bandes Annonces Cinéma
image credit: Chien de Garde film